TWISTED CARAMEL CORN FOR HALLOWEEN

I must admit that this year I have been far more in the spirit for Halloween than I have been in… well since adulthood. I am usually a real party pooper when it comes to Halloween. I feel guilty about all the candy – both what I give out and what the kids bring home. I hate the hunt for costumes (I usually don’t bother for myself). It is just not fun for me. Call it “adult-onset Halloween Scroogness.”

On the flip side, my spouse is a very social guy. He would go to any party, any time. He has low standards that way. I would rather stay home and read – ALWAYS! He hates that about me, but what’s a girl to do? But this year, for some unexplained reason, I am in to it. I have a costume (shh, don’t tell anyone). I have THREE (count ’em – 3!) parties to go to. And I even bought two bags of candy to give out. I nearly went the route of giving out granola bars a few years back – seriously. I have come a long way baby!

This year, I even made a little extra treat for home. A little amuse bouche for the candy onslaught coming Monday. I used some of Kolander Grubbs Sweet Orange-Mango BBQ sauce in this recipe to give it that little something. What would Halloween be without a killer treat!

Sweet Orange-Mango Caramel Corn (adapted from Real Simple )

Ingredients
Non-stick cooking spray or butter
3 T. canola oil
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 T. light corn syrup
3 T. Sweet Orange-Mango BBQ Sauce
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1.Heat oven to 300° F. Spray with the cooking spray or butter a rimmed baking sheet .

2.Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels, cover, and cook, shaking the saucepan constantly once the kernels begin to pop, until there is a 2- to 3-second interval between pops, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

3.In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and BBQ sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, Keep at a rolling boil for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. Pour over the cooked popcorn and, with a rubber spatula, toss to coat.

4.Spread the popcorn mixture on the prepared baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until deep amber, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, toss, and let cool on the baking sheet. (The popcorn will crisp as it cools.)

Happy Halloween!

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